Like all the fruits we’ve featured this year, citrus fruits contain heart-healthy nutrients such as fiber and flavonoids. That’s a good reason to enjoy oranges, mandarin oranges, tangerines, or tangelos as snacks or in meals on a regular basis. Other fruits in this group have additional properties relevant to people who have or are at risk for heart disease.
For example, grapefruit contains furanocoumarin and related compounds that bind to an enzyme in your gut that partially breaks down certain drugs, including some cholesterol-lowering statins. That means more drug gets absorbed, which can boost blood levels and thereby increase the risk of side effects. But some statins, including pravastatin (Pravachol) and rosuvastatin (Crestor), aren’t as affected by grapefruit as other statins. If you love this tangy fruit and take a statin, ask your doctor about whether you should switch to one of those types.
Both the juice and zest (outer rind) of a lemon deliver a flavor boost to many heart-friendly foods, such as grilled fish, veggies, and salads — and may inspire you to use less salt. To trim calories from your diet, add slices of lime to sparkling water as a substitute for sugary sodas.
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